St. Demetrius Cathedral of Vladimir

The temple was built at the beginning of the 12th and 13th centuries, and its construction was carried out by Russian masters who placed special emphasis on chronicles.

Forty years after the construction of the Cathedral of St. Demetrius of Vladimir, it was destroyed and looted by the Tartars, and after that it survived several fires that occurred there. It remained in that condition for a long time, until in 1837, by order of Nicholas I, it was restored but with people who were not specialists in the Russian style. However, we can’t say that the restoration of the cathedral was a benefit, on the contrary, thanks to such restoration the original was almost destroyed in its entirety.

Following the work carried out by the emperor-elect of the masters, the temple finally lost its original appearance and was practically destroyed in pieces. From the total destruction only what was carried out in its later restoration was kept, during which, the cathedral was returned in some parts to its original appearance.

The main decoration of the temple completely covers its upper level and the drum of the dome. It is worth mentioning that 566 carved stones were used to decorate it. These stones came from a strange image in which Christian imagery coexists with mythology and literature.

In the central area there is a gallery of saints, surrounded by images of plants as well as animals. On the southern façade of the cathedral, the story of Aleksandra Makedonskogo’s ascent to heaven stands out more than anything else in the composition. On the northern façade of the temple, there is a representation of Prince Vsevolod, the Great Nest, surrounded by his children.

After observing all the decoration on the outside of the cathedral, it seems to be something majestic, however, the interior is somewhat disappointing. Unlike all of Vladimir Dmitriev’s other cathedrals, its interior is very modestly decorated. The few structures and designs that survived the flames were later destroyed by the restorers. Today, the cathedral is part of the open-air museum of Vladimir-Suzdal.

Since it is an important part of the White Monuments of Vladimir and Súzdal, it belongs, as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.